The evils of sedentary life are something this teacher turned studio owner knows too well. Gone are the days of stretching with clients and sharing in their workout. Now I’ve joined the ranks of the desk bound with piles of admin accumulating on my desk daily. With more sitting comes more pain. And, as a Pilates professional I am constantly reminded of the fact that most people don’t know anything about where Pilates came from. The average Joe has NO idea that the method actually came from an above average man named Joe. The Pilates Method is the brainchild of Joseph Pilates, a German national born in the early 1900’s who as a child was riddled with ailments and became passionate about the body and it’s upkeep. It was Joe who penned the phrase “these methods accomplish desirable results by successfully counteracting the harmful inherent conditions associated with modern civilization”. Frustrated by my lack of time for full workouts and my aching neck and shoulders I have developed a fun little system I call The Disruptive Workout. Here’s how it works:
Look for opportunities to disrupt your day with a little exercise. Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? And yes, even going down counts! Can you stand up during meetings or phone calls? Look for even the smallest opportunities to disrupt your desk sitting and wake up your muscles and nervous system.
Apply some Pilates principles. There are six central Pilates principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow. Find your Center by pulling your abs in gently and holding them for a count of 20. Concentrate on the feeling and notice where you may hold excess tension. Control the muscle by precisely pulling in and up like you’re lifting your waist, isolating the lowest abdominals then the upper at the base of your ribs. Practice breathing deeply into the fullness of your lungs while keeping the abs engaged. Continue to Flow about your day incorporating this exercise anywhere you are, from behind your computer to chatting at the water cooler.
Just MOVE! Find ways to move your bones and muscles. Circle your ankles under your desk. Stand up and practice squatting up and down without touching your chair. Stand while on your conference call and practice rising up on the balls of your feet to find your balance. Spread your arms wide in your door jam and stretch out your chest while checking in on your co-workers. The key is anything goes here. Be creative and get moving!
Want more? Here are 3 Pilates Moves you can do at your desk.
Lindsay Lopez leads FORM Pilates Union Square: a boutique studio with a unique cooperative structure which focuses on trainers more than clientele. As a positive coach and gutsy mentor, Lindsay Lopez is changing the Pilates business for the better.